Monday, July 5, 2010

Read It: The Last Jew of Treblinka by Chil Rajchman

The Last Jew of Treblinka: A Memoir

Gosh. What can I say about a real-life Holocaust diary?? I can't exactly review it. Rajchman wrote this account of the 10 months he spent in the extermination camp of Treblinka after his escape, while the war was still going on. A review would not do it justice because it is such a true account. So I'll just summarize a bit I guess. The writing is very straight forward. Rajchman tells it like it is. He doesn't try to be all literary about it  and fluff it up like some Holocaust novels do. You can really tell that he's describing things the exact way he saw them and remembers them. Parts of the book were hard to read because they are so true. Reading about the people who were led to the gas chambers and how frantic some of them were broke my heart. Another passage that almost brought me to tears was when an elderly woman asked Rajchman (who was a hair-cutter) to cut her hair slowly so she could die with her daughter. He also writes all about the system of the camp and how things worked. For a time he was a "dentist" and had to pull out the gold teeth from the bodies that had already been gassed. Anyone who reads this book cannot deny that the Holocaust really happened. Rajchman describes in detail every day life for himself and the other men who were spared the gas chambers to keep the camp running.
Definitely a must read. Je suis le dernier Juif (The Last Jew of Treblinka) is a book everyone should pick up. It's a reminder of what happened to so many innocent people and of how strong the people who endured the Holocaust are. Preorder it now on for delivery on the release date, February 15th, 2011. I'm going to.

Title: Je suis le dernier Juif (The Last Jew of Treblinka)
Author: Chil Rajchman
Date of Publication: 2009 in France, Feb 15 2011 in USA
Number of Pages: 153 (French version)
Source: Bought by myself at a bookstore in La Rochelle, France

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